Thomas Dewar from Newbattle Community High School, winner of the 2020 Standard Life Aberdeen Student of the Year Award for Midlothian, shares how the support of his mentor Freya and a paid internship with the University of Edinburgh gave him the skills, confidence and opportunity to kickstart a rewarding future. 

The work I did, and the interactions I had, at the University of Edinburgh really boosted my confidence and encouraged me not to hold back because I felt insecure. Before I started the Career Ready programme I was insecure and anxious about social interaction, I now realise that most people have their own anxieties and I definitely shouldn’t let mine hold me back from reaching my full potential. This internship helped me develop the mental and emotional strength to relish any challenges that the future holds.

My mentor Freya has been so much help, her support and guidance has shaped me into the person I am today. Not only has she developed my work and social skills as a mentor but I’ve also gained a friend.

I owe a lot to Freya and I am very grateful for her help, I could not have reached the positive place I am in now without her.

My long term goal is to become a secondary school teacher, in the meantime I would like to get a Higher National Diploma in Music. The skills and lessons I learnt during the Career Ready programme will surely aid me in life and further education as well as setting me up with a network of peers and professionals.